A Crowded House (Mrs. Dalloway Room)

A Crowded House tells the story of Virginia Woolf's life through the lens of her novels. The house consisted of nine rooms, each written by a different playwright. I had the Mrs. Dalloway room:

Virginia Woolf throws a dinner party to celebrate the release of her latest book, Mrs. Dalloway, with which she hopes she can finally squelch that young upstart James Joyce once and for all. Unfortunately, cooking disasters, ill-tempered guests, and general pandemonium wreak havoc upon both the party and Woolf's sanity.

Read a selection from the script.


  • VIRGINIA WOOLF, a troubled author
  • CLARISSA DALLOWAY, a British society lady, obsessed with flowers
  • LEONARD WOOLF, Virginia's supportive husband
  • LYTTON STRACHEY, a man of arts and culture (read: homosexual)
  • DORA CARRINGTON, Lytton's improbable girlfriend and unlikely etymologist
  • VANESSA BELL, Virginia's sister, very competitive
  • CLIVE BELL, Vanessa's husband, a boar hunter and a boring one
  • ROGER FRY, a painting critic, not the highlight of the party


  • State Theatre of Chicago (Chicago, November 2010)


If you've ever read a book by Virginia Woolf or studied her literary epoch, you are well ahead of me. Before this project began, I knew her as the lady in the title of Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which play I later learned has nothing to do with her.

However, by speed-reading through Mrs. Dalloway (I think it has something to do with flowers?) and relying on the State Theatre's awesome dramaturgs, I managed to feign Woolf savvy and write a ten(ish) minute play that has something to do with flowers.

"Young ladies today are so shallow, Lady Barouche. They care only for superficialities, such as intelligence, kindness, and beauty. True, these have been denied your son, but charms he possesses—such as large teeth and a shell collection—seem not to sway them." ~ Mrs. Chaisse, Longston Park